Location: Clark County IL

Biography of Richard O. Wells

Richard O. Wells, farmer; P. O. Westfield; was born in Bourbon Co., Ky., Dec. 29, 1809; he remained there with his parents until he was 25 years of age assisting on the farm; his father died there in the year 1835; his mother surviving him until the year 1860. Mr. Wells, while at home in Kentucky was married August, 1831, to Miss Jenette Boston (daughter of William Boston of Kentucky); she was born July 15, 1815; shortly after his marriage, he moved upon a farm near that of his father’s, where he lived until his removal to Clark Co., in 1837; the next year he moved to Coles Co. and settled on Sec. 6, where he lived three years, and then returned to Clark Co. and from there, in 1843, moved back to Kentucky and after remaining ten years, in the year 1853, came to Coles Co. and settled upon Sec. 7, where he has since resided. He owns 111 acres; has been School Director one term. They had twelve children, seven boys, three living – Richard J., born May 29, 1849; Robert L., August 11, 1853, and Charles M., born Jan. 22, 1856, and four deceased-Preston, born Oct. 22, 1832, died in 1842; James F. M., born April 1, 1836, died in 1865; William H., born July 17, 1840, died in 1850; and Leroy B., born April 6,...

Read More

Biography of Rev. J. W. Woods, C. P.

Rev. J. W. Woods, C. P. minister, Mattoon; was born in the Territory of Indiana, Feb. 5, 1815. He is the son of Wm. G. and Rachel (Lester) Woods; his father was a farmer and his early boyhood days were spent upon the farm; his education was obtained mainly at Pilot Knob Academy, under the instruction of Prof. D. R. Harris; when 10 years of age, he came with his parents to Clark Co., Ill.; his father settling about four miles east of the present town of Marshall, his house became the resort for most business transactions in that part of the county; it was the “preaching-place” for fifteen years, until the building of a church in the neighborhood. At the age of 17, young Woods became a member of the church, and in May, 1834, of the Presbytery;. in June, 1837, he began his public ministry in Clark Co., Ill., and, for a number of years, labored in Coles, Douglas, Cumberland, Shelby and other counties in this section; in October, 1839, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry; in 1859, he moved to Mattoon for the purpose of building the church in the city; under his direction and superintendence, the church was built, and he was Pastor until September, 1861, when he entered the U. S. service as Chaplain of the 5th I. V. C.,...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of R. M. Gray

R. M. Gray, attorney at law, Mattoon; was born in Pleasant Grove Tp., Coles Co., Dec. 27, 1848; his father, James C., was one of the early pioneers of this section; his early life was that of a. farmer’s son; in addition to his common school education, at the age of 19, he entered Westfield College, Clark Co., Ill., and remained one year; he next attended an academy in his native township, two years, under the supervision of Prof. T. J. Lee; in the fall of 1870, he entered the law department of Michigan University, from which he graduated in March, 1873; he then entered the office of Maj. James A. Connolly, in Charleston, Ill., and remained till the spring of 1875; he then came to Mattoon and entered upon the practice of his profession, in connection with H. W. Magee; soon after locating, he was appointed City Attorney, and held the office one year; in 1877, he formed a co-partnership with Charles Bennett, which lasted one year; in 1876, he was elected State’s Attorney for Coles Co., which position he now holds; since the spring of 1878, he has been practicing his profession alone, and though comparatively young in the work, has already shown himself ” a workman that needeth not to be ashamed....

Read More

Biography of William H. Reynolds

William H. Reynolds, far.; P. O. Oakland; born in Fairfield Co., Ohio, May 29, 1837, where he was brought up on a farm until about 18 years of age, when he emigrated to Clark Co., Ill., and located for one year; thence to Coles Co., where he hired as farm laborer for two years, when he rented land and farmed three years. He enlisted July 25, 1861, in Col. Oglesby’s regiment-the 8th I. V. I. going in camp at Cairo, where he remained about two months, during which time he was engaged in reconnoitering expeditions in Missouri; he then joined the Army of the West under Gen. Grant, and was in many severe battles, among which were Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, siege and capture of Vicksburg, after which he went with the army South to New Orleans, and went into winter quarters, remaining until the spring of 1865, when they went to Mobile, which place they captured after remaining there two months; went to Shreveport, La., then to Marshall, Tex., where he received a furlough, and while at home was mustered out of service by special order from the War Department April 20, 1866. Mr. Reynolds was in the Union Army nearly five years, and while he had many narrow escapes; was wounded only once, while making a charge at Raymond, Miss., having the flesh torn from one of...

Read More

Biography of Lafayette Craig

Lafayette Craig, farmer, Sec. 18; P. O. Charleston; born in Clark Co., Ill., Mar. 27, 1832; he emigrated with his parents when 3 years of age, and located in what is now known as Morgan Tp., in December, 1835, in which township he has since continued to live for a period of upward of forty-three years; he is a son of Isaac N. Craig, and with his father is one of the earliest pioneers of Morgan Tp.; the subject of this sketch was employed in his early days in watching sheep during the day to protect them from the wolves, and at night would drive the sheep in close pens near the house, for safety during the night; there were no roads in those days, and to go to Charleston and other points, they would follow by-paths, taking a direct line to whatever point they wished to go; he remained with his father and assisted him in farming until 21 years of age, when he was employed by his father for two years, at $100 per year, when he, with his brother farmed upon the old farm for six years, receiving half of the crops for their labor; he then continued farming alone on the same conditions, for a period of three years longer; he removed upon his present place in the spring of 1864, where he has since...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Samuel Rardin

Samuel Rardin, merchant and Postmaster, Rardin; born in Morgan Tp., Coles Co., Ill., Jan. 2, 1850, where he attended the common schools until 1872, when he entered the Westfield College at Westfield, Clark Co., Ill., which he attended during the years 1872 and 1873, when he returned home and assisted his father in farming until the year 1875, when he was appointed, under the administration of President Grant, as Postmaster at Rardin, which office he now holds, and which is the only post office in Morgan Tp.; upon receiving the above appointment, he erected a store, and purchased a stock of goods; he engaged in the merchandise trade, which business he has since successfully followed. He is the oldest son now living of John H. Rardin, who emigrated from Kentucky and located in Morgan Tp. in 1842, and whose biography appears in this work. He also owns forty acres of prairie land, upon which he has a residence, and which is...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of A. Kitchens

A. Kitchens, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Cook’s Mills; one of the natives of Illinois; was born in Clark Co., Jan. 23, 1843; he is the son of Eli E. Kitchens, deceased, who was one of the early settlers of the State. His farm consists of 100 acres, valued at $2,000. He was married to Miss Nancy E. Hoskins, now deceased; they have had two children, viz., Maria E. and Susan...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Ellen Hoots

Mrs. Ellen Hoots, farming and stock-raising; P. O. Cook’s Mills; one of the natives of Illinois; was born in Clark Co., July 4, 1845. She is the widow of the late Francis M. Hoots; they were married Nov. 21, 1861; they have had ten children, eight of whom are living, viz., Edwin, Wm. A., Linea Albia, Bertie N., Arthur A., Nora Eva, and Francis; deceased, Albert B. and Rosa. The farm of Mrs. Hoots is principally managed by herself and her children; it contains 316ΒΌ acres, valued at...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of John Jefferson Adams

John Jefferson Adams, farmer, deceased, Sec. 17; P. O. Campbell; owns 1,240 acres; Mr. Adams was one of the early pioneers of Coles Co.; he spent nearly half a century in Coles Co., Ill., and was one of the men who helped to change it from a wilderness waste to a land of fruitful fields, of bursting barns, bending orchards and happy homes, and, therefore, deserves more than a passing notice; he was born Sept. 30, 1806, in Williamson Co., Tenn. Was married to Martha Gammil in 1829. On the 26th of October, 1830, he, with his wife and firstborn child (W. E. Adams, who was then 11 days old), emigrated to what was then Clark Co., and after twenty four days’ march, pitched his tent near the spot where he died; Mrs. Adams died in 1844, leaving six children – William E., of Charleston; the next lived to be a soldier, who died in a hospital during the late rebellion; Mrs. Brown, of Hillsboro; Mrs. Dr. Reel, of Oakland; Mrs. West, of Texas, and Mrs. J. S. Grimes, now of Kansas. Mr. Adams was then married to Nancy Caroline Dryden Jan. 29, 1845; she was born Jan. 23, 1821; died Sept. 2, 1854; he was then married to Sarah E. Dryden Feb. 27, 1855; Sarah E. Dryden was born Jan. 14, 1827; the fruit of this marriage was...

Read More

Biography of James M. Drake

James M. Drake is one of Riverside’s representative and well-known businessmen, and has for years been the treasurer of the city, which responsible and important office he fills with honor and credit to himself and the municipality whose interests he so ably guards. Although not a pioneer of Riverside, her history would be incomplete without a fitting mention of Mr. Drake’s eight or ten years’ association with her interests. He is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and dates his birth April 12, 1837. His parents were Charles and Mahala J. (Jeter) Drake. His father was a native of Virginia, a descendant of one of the old colonial families. Mr. Drake was reared in Louisville until the age of twelve years. At that time the death of his mother occurred and his father then moved to Marshall, Clark County, Illinois. After a residence of four years in that place the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Drake terminated his school days in the public schools of that city and then returned to Louisville and started in life by learning the trade of au upholsterer and house-furnisher. He then established himself in Shelbyville, Kentucky, where he remained until early in 1858, when he established au upholstering and house-furnishing business in Huntsville, Alabama. He was successfully conducting his enterprise when the secession movement and the formation of the Confederate government plunged his...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of N. R. Duer

N. R. Duer, farmer and school-teacher; P. O. Oakland; born in Fairfield Co., Ohio, May 13, 1832, where he attended school and engaged in farming until he attained his majority, when he engaged in school-teaching one year; he then entered the Ohio Wesleyan University, located at Delaware, which he attended for upward of two years; he then engaged in farming and school-teaching in Ohio, until 1862, when he emigrated to Illinois and located in Clark Co., where he followed teaching and farming until 1864, when he located in Coles Co., and engaged in teaching in Oakland one year, and one year in East Oakland Tp.; he then returned to Clark Co., and for three years was employed in teaching in Clark and Cumberland Cos.; he then engaged in the drug-trade, at Farmington, Coles Co., which business he followed until the fall of 1875, when he engaged in drug trade at Oakland, with N. R. Moore, under the firm name of Duer & Moore, which business continued until March, 1878, when he sold his interest and again resumed farming and school-teaching. He married, Aug. 14, 1861, to Jane Elder: she was born in Ohio July 19, 1838; died Oct. 5, 1862, leaving no children; his marriage with Celia E. Ferguson was celebrated July 21. 1863; she was born in Clark Co. April 15, 1842; they have four children now living...

Read More

Biography of Marion P. Cash

Marion P. Cash, traveling salesman; P. O. Terre Haute, Ind.; born in Nelson Co. Va., April 14, 1833, he removed to Amherst Co., with the family, when 4 years of age, where he lived until 14 years of age, when he emigrated to Illinois and located in Paris, Edgar Co., in the fall of 1847; after farming one year, he learned and worked at the cabinet-maker’s trade for three years, in Paris; he came to Oakland, Coles Co., and worked one year at his trade, when he engaged with his brother in the furniture trade for two years; he then sold out and engaged in the drug trade one year; in 1855, he was appointed Postmaster of Oakland, at which date he engaged in the grocery and confectionery trade, which he continued until 1857, when he sold out and again engaged in the furniture business until 1861, when he removed to Westfield, Clark Co., and managed the merchandise trade of H. H. Cash & Bro., until 1863; he then engaged as traveling salesman for a wholesale notion house at Terre Haute one year; he then went to Cincinnati and engaged in the same business until 1867, when he bought out a dry goods store at Kansas Station, which he ran until 180, when, selling out, he again engaged as traveling salesman, which business he continued until 1877, for Terre...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of S. H. Ashmore

S. H. Ashmore, farmer and stock-raiser; P.O. Kansas; born in Butler Co., Ky., Jan. 29, 1822; he emigrated with his parents when quite young and located in Clark Co., Ill., about the year 1826, where he lived until about 1828, when he removed to Coles Co., and located before the organization of the township in what is now known as Ashmore Tp., where he lived until 1836, when he located in East Oakland Tp., where he has since lived. He lived with his parents until 23 years of age, at which time he married, and renting a farm, commenced farming for himself; his stock then consisted of a team of ponies and two cows; after renting two years he purchased eighty acres of land, for which he partly paid at the time, the balance was paid within two years; he has added since by purchase, until he now owns upward of 600 acres in Coles and Edgar Counties. He married June, 1845, to Matilda Boyer; she was born in Edgar Co., Oct. 4, 1827; she died Oct. 14, 1875, leaving five children, two of which are since deceased; the names of the living are William M., Nancy J. (now Mrs. James Buckler), and Emanda E. Mr. Ashmore held the office of School Director in his district for upward of twenty...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Thomas Woods

Thomas Woods, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Westfield, Clark Co., was born in Coles Co., on the homestead, where he now resides, July 12, 1848; his father, William Woods, one of the pioneers of the county, was born in Madison Co., Ky., Nov. 28, 1808, and settled in Coles Co. in the year 1834, with the family of his mother, Mrs. Mary Woods; like most of the early settlers, he came here a poor man, to build him a home in the then wilderness; he purchased- at first forty acres of land; he was an energetic, hard-working man, who commanded the respect and confidence of his neighbors; to his farm of forty acres he added at various times, until he owned at one time 240 acres of land situated in Coles and Clark Cos., which amount he left at the time of his death; Thomas Woods, the only son, has always remained on the old homestead. He was married on the 17th of February, 1876, to Miss Mollie A. Arterburn, a daughter of William Arterburn, of Edgar Co., Ill.; she was born in Louisville, Ky., Feb. 11, 1846, and came to Illinois with her parents in infancy; they have one...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of A. T. Steele, M. D.

A. T. Steele, M. D., physician and surgeon, Ashmore, is a native of Illinois; he was born in Clark Co. June 28, 1844; he is a son of Oliver P. Steele, a native of the city of Philadelphia, who came to Clark Co. in 1837, where he resided till his death, which occurred Oct. 2, 1872; his mother was Nancy K. Twilley, who was born in Kentucky, and came to Illinois with her in 1832. Dr. Steele was raised on the farm; in 1863, he enlisted in Co. C, 62d Ill. Vols., serving till Feb. 1865; he participated in the battles of Little Rock, Pine Bluffs and Fort Smith, Ark., and Fort Gibson, Indian Territory; returning from the war, he spent one year in farming, and, in 1867, entered Westfield College, where he remained two years; during the winter of 1869-70, he attended lectures in Rush Medical College, Chicago, reading medicine the following summer in the office of Dr. Van Dyke, in Ashmore; in the fall of 1871, he returned to the college in Chicago, but the buildings of that institution being destroyed in the great fire in that city, he went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and there pursued his second course in medicine; he began practice as a physician in Ashmore, in 1872, and, in the fall of 1874, returned to Rush Medical College,...

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest